Questions asked from those young ones sitting in a circle.... they look to me for the answers. One can never prepare for the hard questions that come from ones so young. "Why... why does Jesus ask, as He prays alone in the garden, if there is any other way? Doesn't He, being fully God, already know the answer."
I let out a chuckle, oh to grasp the incarnation, if only that was possible. But it is a good question.
Why did He ask? Why did He want another way? Why did He not do it another way? Why the cross? Is it because He knew that we would need to see the hands nail-scarred? Is it because we need to know that He knows?
There is comfort in knowing that the hands that cup my face during the hard eucharisteo understand the pain. Those "nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know. I know.' "
He knows, and He does not ignore our pain, and we don't have to pretend that it doesn't hurt. And the honest words of Ann ring true to my heart because we can be honest about our feelings towards the Almighty, He can handle our anger, He can handle our hurt, and we don't offend Him by being honest, and He doesn't need protection from our anguish.
And then I read "Sometimes we need time to answer the hard eucharisteo." And my heart stops and my surroundings fade because I needed to hear that. For weeks I feel defeated because the battle has raged for months and it feels like it will never end and I wonder what is wrong with me. I keep telling people I need time and the looks I get make me feel dirty, because shouldn't I be able to move on quicker then this. I've never been stuck like this before and the words I hear are words that sting, and they seem to say that this struggle is small and one day I'll look back and laugh because I shouldn't have fought so hard, and I let out a laugh to smooth out the moment but inside I'm feeling ripped apart because it is hard and they don't understand because they haven't struggled there."I won't shield God from my anguish by claiming He's not involved in the ache of this world and Satan prowls but he's a lion on a leash and the God who govern all can be be shouted at when I bruise, and I can cry and I can howl and He embraces the David-hearts who pound hard on His heart with their grief and I can moan deep that He did this - and He did."
But I know what the real struggle is and it's that He wants me empty and it's that process of emptying that hurts because in the emptiness there is darkness. And it's only in the darkness that we find the light. And He knows because He went there... to the ultimate darkness... the cross. But it is out of that darkness that the world found life...... "And there is no other way." Oh but I want there to be another way.
But there's not and I must learn to accept it and I must let it come. Because only the "emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy."
And she ends the chapter with words that I must cling to....
"The good news that all those living in the land of shadow of death have been birthed into new life, that the transfiguration of a suffering world has already begun. That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart - and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty."
* I wrote about chapter 4 here
* all quotes are from Ann Voskamsp's book One Thousand Gifts chapter 5